The top high school football recruit in Kansas City is headed to Clemson.
Lee’s Summit West senior Mario Goodrich, a shut-down cornerback, announced his decision on a local TV news station Wednesday morning. He included Georgia and LSU in his three finalists but reached under the desk to put on a purple Clemson hat, revealing his choice.
Goodrich is ranked as the 99th-best senior in the country and third-best in the state, per Rivals.com. Listed at 6-2, 180 pounds, he is a two-time selection for The Star’s all-metro first team.
“I felt like I was at home when I went,” Goodrich said on the telecast after announcing. “The visit was terrific — the coaches, the players, everyone is always happy. I had that feeling in my chest. I knew what I wanted.”
Goodrich originally committed to Nebraska last year but then re-opened his recruitment after the coaching change in Lincoln this offseason. The second round drew more interest than the initial one, and Goodrich spent the past two months visiting a host of SEC schools and Clemson.
“It was hard,” Goodrich said of decommitting from Nebraska. “Just knowing the (previous) coaching staff really likes you. You had your mind set on where you wanted to go.
“But things happen for a reason. I just pray every night and ask God to bless me whichever way I go.”
Goodrich was offered by all three local schools — Missouri, Kansas State and Kansas — but told The Star two months ago that he was not seriously considering those options. He had 21 total scholarship offers.
Goodrich did not see many passes thrown his way as a senior but still managed 15 pass break-ups and one interception. As a junior, he picked off seven passes and returned two for touchdowns.
He is also a member of the Lee’s Summit West basketball team and had Division I opportunities to prolong his basketball career.